E-Commerce with an emphasis on Social Technologies
Wow! There’s a new health and life insurance Web site that is groundbreaking from an aesthetic design standpoint. California Anthem Blue Cross’s www.tonikhealth.com targets young and healthy 19- to 29-year olds in a totally hip way — you know, those surfboard dudes and rollerbladers who think they are invincible.
It’s an innovative use of colors, language and images that make the site stand out – again targeting the younger crowd. I think the site does a good job of promoting why an insurance plan might in the long run save a person money if they are injured. So if you are a surfer dude, rollerblader or beach volleyball guy and you get crushed by a wave, crack your skull on the sidewalk, or blow out a knee spiking the ball, the plan will save you money.
It’s a great site! I love it! But I’d recommend a few things. First, the enrollment process needs a telephone verification system. Just in testing the site, I was issued a policy with only a valid e-mail address and a valid banking ABA number — everything else was fiction. It’s not a good idea to issue a policy unless you validate at least some of the data, including whether or not it’s a “real” person applying. This may be one of the reasons the site is allegedly enrolling so many people. Maybe not all the enrollees are legit. And I’d hate to see Anthem be impacted by the dreaded “adverse selection.”
Second, the unfortunate other thing is when you hit the “View network” or the education and resources pages, you link out to the main Blue Cross site with a whole different look and feel. That’s a little startling and distracting. Evidently the Blue Cross site doesn’t use a style guide, so it’s not possible for the Blue Cross site to change its look on the fly to match the Tonik brand. And, the VIP Lounge takes the viewer to the main Blue Cross site where you can log in as a member. I found that to be a little misleading. People might think it’s a little gimmicky or patronizing, and that’s not a good thing in the long run.
Third, in the very first step of the enrollment process, you start with a Web page that looks like a pop-up window labeled “Buzz, Kill.” It’s kind of “Whoa.” Then it’s a long scrolling form with very important Benefit Details. The information is presented as if it is just a general legal disclaimer with an “I accept button” at the bottom. So the information is a bit out of place and the box itself is too small. The font is too small, and too much language is presented all at once.
These are some issues they’ll probably want to deal with in the second generation of the site. You don’t want to lose peoples’ trust in your health care concern and authenticity.
But it’s a great site. I applaud Anthem’s courage to break new ground and develop a site which fits the market they are targeting. It will be interesting to see how the Tonik product performs financially over the next couple years.